Published: August 24, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - Tropical Storm Isaac knocked out power across St. Croix on Thursday, leaving some customers without electricity for most of the day and into the night.
Problems started about 3 a.m., when winds from the storm began to pick up, V.I. Water and Power Authority spokeswoman Cassandra Dunn said. The gusts died down, and workers were able to restore scattered outages, but the stormed kicked into high gear again about 10 a.m.
"That's when we began experiencing some more problems," Dunn said.
Electric poles were damaged or blown over, trees fell on power lines and transformers failed from wires crossing or from too much stress on the system, she said.
Not every feeder lost power entirely, but sections of most of the utility's feeder lines on St. Croix, including those serving Frederiksted and Christiansted, were affected at one point or another, according to Dunn.
"We had a cross-island set of problems we were dealing with," she said.
Dunn said Thursday night that some customers had been without power since the morning, but crews were working into the night - and through intermittent rain showers - to try to restore service.
"There have been people without power for a while because there are a lot of areas we had to deal with," Dunn said. "We are doing everything we can to complete the work tonight."
Utility workers would continue to watch the weather, she said.
"We remain vigilant as this whole storm system is passing," Dunn said. "We will stay out there and be available to make any repairs."
On St. Thomas, only minor problems arose, which Dunn described as "routine kinds of things."
The silver lining to the storm, which had a less severe impact on the territory than predicted Wednesday, may have been in keeping WAPA workers sharp, she said.
"We like to keep our restoration skills really honed, so it's not always bad when we have these opportunities to shore up our system and make sure that we always improve our responsiveness," Dunn said.
WAPA customers on St. Croix can report outages by calling 773-2250 and pressing 7. On St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island, customers can call 774-3552 and press 4.
- Contact reporter Lou Mattei at 714-9124 or email email@example.com.